Government bodies set to miss own green IT targets?

green computing

Public sector bodies are afraid they won't be able to meet green IT targets set by the government.

Over two-thirds of 150 public sector IT managers polled by Cisco said they don't think they can achieve green IT objectives, which include the government's IT going carbon neutral by 2012.

Just 22 per cent have internal green IT targets, the survey found, while just 13 per cent have even calculated their carbon footprint - a good starting point for any organisation looking to cut its emissions.

Indeed, many managers likely have no idea how much their energy use is costing. The research found that 81 per cent of the public sector managers don't directly pay for their energy use, while 67 per cent never see a bill for it.

That said, 70 per cent of the polled mangers said making IT greener is important to them, while 30 per cent have started using video conferencing and 28 per cent use IT to offer flexible working in a bid to cut carbon output from travel.

Neil Crockett, head of public sector at Cisco in the UK, said the report suggests the public sector is taking the right steps to greener IT, but more work remains.

"ICT has the power to transform the way the public sector delivers its services, helping to improve interagency communication and meet the Government's carbon reduction targets," he added in a statement.

Commenting on the survey results, Steve Palmer, president of SOCITM, noted that going green can also cut costs and improve services. "The economic downturn we face provides an enormous opportunity for maximising the potential that ICT has for delivering high quality, low carbon services," he said in a statement.

"Green ICT initiatives cannot just reduce travel, enable flexible working and reduce energy consumption; they can also improve the quality and delivery of frontline services," he added.

Palmer called on the public sector to get better at sharing information about going green, as the survey found just 16 per cent were sharing best practices and the knowledge they'd learned. "What is needed is greater understanding and collaboration between organisations to put these innovations into practice," he said.

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